How Business Merchandising Audits Can Lead to Improved Strategies




  • February 3, 2016

    Conducting regular business merchandising audits is essential for any business competing in the retail arena. These types of audits are crucial for ensuring that your product is being properly displayed and is well-stocked at a given retail location. If field reps are able to perform thorough field merchandising audits and deliver them to management in the most efficient way possible, businesses can stay a cut above the competition and modify their marketing programs as needed.


    What To Include


    As a general rule, retail merchandising audits should include the following elements: in-store and shelf location of the product, available stock, price as marked, number of facings, adjacent products, promotional execution, and the presentation of marketing materials. If retailers are not upholding their end of the negotiation, your brand is missing out on potential sales. When possible, it is also a good idea to have reps check up on the status of the building’s appearance, store employees’ knowledge of your product, and any special promotions that are running for it. These factors play a critical role in the consumer shopping experience and can make the difference between whether or not your product gets purchased.


    If members of your field team are equipped with a mobile phone, have them snap photos of product placement and store appearance to help give management a clearer understanding of the situation at hand. It is vital for reps to capture this data in a business merchandising audit so that management can assure the retailer is carrying out their terms of agreement and that the most effective strategies are being utilized.


    Impact on the Bottom Line


    Reporting on merchandising tactics that have been implemented at various retail locations provides management with a sense of what is working well and what is not. After designing field merchandising audits that encompass all pertinent data, managers and organizational leaders can analyze the findings to make necessary strategic changes.


    Real-time communication is crucial for businesses looking to stay relevant in the market. Being able to review competitors’ activity as well as the success of your business’s retail strategies as they are occurring enables leaders to make adjustments immediately. An additional benefit of adopting a mobile software solution is that managers can view data from merchandising audits and geo-tagged photos that spans across multiple retail locations. This is useful for comparing which strategies are profitable at different locations. This data can also be presented to managers or buyers at other retail locations as a demonstration of what campaigns are proving to be the most lucrative for your product. Retailers may consider employing some strategies that they would not have considered otherwise had this hard data not been shared with them.


    Not only do mobile merchandising audits reduce the risk of human error, they also save businesses valuable time and money. Organizational leaders are able to monitor the competition more closely and modify their retail marketing and merchandising campaigns accordingly using a retail merchandising software solution. Regular retail audits are an asset to any business looking to gain a competitive edge against competitors and maintain customer loyalty.


     

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